Face of 1704 ‘witch’ reconstructed

Image copyright Dundee College
Image caption Lilias Adie died in jail in 1704

The face of a Scottish woman persecuted for witchcraft greater than 300 years ago has been reconstructed simply by forensic scientists.

Lilias Adie died in 1704 within prison before she could be burnt for her “confessed” crimes of being the witch and having sex with the satan.

Locals buried the girl under a large stone on the Fife coast, perhaps believing it would quit her rising from the grave.

Her remains had been exhumed in the 19th Century simply by antiquarians.

Her head ended up in the St Andrews College Museum and was photographed just before it went missing during the twentieth Century.

BBC Radio Scotland’s Period Travels programme and its historian Louise Yeoman wondered if this would be possible to make a digital renovation of Lilias Adie’s face from your photographs alone.

Image caption Doctor Christopher Rynn used state-of-the-art THREE DIMENSIONAL virtual sculpture for the reconstruction

Forensic performer Dr Christopher Rynn from Dundee University’s Centre for Anatomy plus Human Identification carried out the work making use of 3D virtual sculpture and forensic facial reconstruction methods.

He said: “There was absolutely nothing in Lilias’ story that recommended to me that nowadays she would be looked at as anything other than a target of horrible circumstances.

“So I saw no reason to the face into an unpleasant or imply expression and she ended up having a significant kind face, quite naturally. inch

The project is really a follow-up to a previous collaboration between your Radio Scotland History team plus archaeologist Douglas Speirs, which discovered the likely spot on the Fife coastline for Lilias Adie’s severe.

Presenter Leslie Morrison said: “It was a really eerie moment when the face associated with Lilias suddenly appeared.

“Here was the face of the woman you could have a chat with, even though knowing her story it was the wee bit difficult to look the girl in the eye. ”

Image copyright Dundee University

Lilias Adie had been tortured in prison and it is thought she may have taken her own lifestyle.

Louise Yeoman stated: “I think she was a quite clever and inventive person.

“The point from the interrogation and its cruelties was to obtain names.

“But Lilias said that she couldn’t give the titles of other women at the witches’ gatherings as they were masked such as gentlewomen.

“She just gave names which were already identified and kept up coming up with reasons for not identifying other women with this horrendous treatment. ”

Burials of suspected witches had been unusual as their bodies were generally burned to ashes at the risk.

It was feared the particular devil could steal such corpses and animate them to torment the particular living, which may explain why the particular stone slab was placed within the grave.

Image caption The head was photographed before disappearing a while in the 20th Century
Picture caption Louise Yeoman mentioned Lilias Adie endured “horrendous treatment”

Louise Yeoman said: “It’s sad to consider her neighbours expected some frightening monster when she was in fact an innocent person who’d experienced terribly.

“The only thing that’s monstrous this is actually the miscarriage of justice.

“Lilias died a lonely unmourned death, but she was also the courageous woman.

“Through this recreation we’ve been able to take a look at her face and see her like a person, and hopefully give the girl a more thoughtful place in Scottish background. ”

The particular Halloween Time Travels special will be presented on on Tuesday 31 October upon BBC Radio Scotland at thirteen: 30.